Save the Date for ‘Ole N’ Lena’s Wedding’

Join Ole and Lena on their special day at the Northern Lights Ballroom in Pease this Saturday, Feb. 14 for an interactive comedy. Dinner is included in the $35 ticket cost, and the couple will share their wedding cake, too.
Join Ole and Lena on their special day at the Northern Lights Ballroom in Pease this Saturday, Feb. 14 for an interactive comedy. Dinner is included in the $35 ticket cost, and the couple will share their wedding cake, too.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Ole N’ Lena’s Wedding” will be presented at the Northern Lights Ballroom in Pease on Saturday, Feb. 14.
The doors open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the show will follow at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the dinner show is $35. Guests will have a choice of shrimp scampi, chef carved roast beef or chicken cordon bleu. Wine and cocktails will also be available during dinner.
Playwright, director and actor Roger Gerdin puts on about five shows each year. Murder mysteries and dinner theater are among his works. Over the last seven years, Gerdin wrote 12 murder mysteries.
Gerdin has a degree in theatrical scenery and lighting from Bemidji State, and has taken several courses for advanced play writing and directing. He has been working in theater since the 1970s.  He hopes to someday work in theater for Branson, Missouri, for three seasons of the year.
His “Ole and Lena” acts prove to be audience favorites. Gerdin writes the shows himself. He develops the script, finds cast members, coordinates shows, and does the marketing and public relations. The writer also plays Ole in the play. He is working on his fifth “Ole and Lena” skit, a hunting show that will premier in the fall of 2015.
“I’m Scandinavian and have grown up with ‘Ole and Lena’ jokes all my life. I just thought it would be fun to capitalize on the novelty couple,” Gerdin said.
Gerdin is able to poke fun at himself by heightening the silliness and character accents in the comedy spoofs. His own experiences are interlaced with Ole and Lena’s history. Writing the skits are Gerdin’s way of celebrating the Scandinavian heritage of Minnesota. However, he has never come across a real-life couple as overdone, ridiculous, silly and stupid as the fictional Scandinavian couple.
“It makes fun of Scandinavians in a tasteful way. We are very family friendly. People love to hear stories. That’s kind of what the play is,” he assured.
“Ole N’ Lena’s Wedding” features Ole Jr., son of the Ole and Lena, and Lena Jr., daughter of Sven and Tina, who are celebrating their nuptials at their wedding reception. The play has a cast of 13 professional actors and some amateurs.
The show runs like a real wedding reception, with the grand march and speeches from family members. Audience members should dress like they are attending a real wedding reception, Gerdin advised. Those viewing the show can expect to get involved in the celebration by dancing to fun classics, as well as eating wedding cake during Ole and Lena’s reception. The wedding guests will also be able to dance and have their pictures taken with the bride and groom. Just watch out for Bambi Anderson, Ole’s old girlfriend, because she may be a little inebriated. There are quite a few plot twists in this comedy, Gerdin said.
“It’s a lot of fun. Every two minutes there is a big joke and laugh. It’s like you’re at a regular wedding with a plot. It’s got a good message about prejudging people and situations,” Gerdin said.
According to the director, typical Scandinavians would rather not talk about conflict by ignoring the tension. This matches the theme of the play. Find out how the parents of the bride and groom, Ole and Lena Sr. met and of their surprise Las Vegas wedding; and also of Sven and Tina’s wedding day disaster. And why does Ole Jr. just happen to have a darker completion compared to his Scandinavian parents? What happened when they were on vacation in Mexico and Lena Sr. delivered a healthy bouncing baby boy? Guests will discover Ole Jr. and Lena’s big secret – talk about the “white elephant in the room.”
Those who viewed “Ole N’ Lena’s Wedding” three years ago when the show appeared in the area can expect a tighter, quicker show with less lag time, Gerdin described. The play, characters and plot remain the same. The dance portion of the show is shorter, and a master of ceremonies helps things move along quickly from scene to scene. Throughout the years, Gerdin said the show has become more efficient in its performance.
“I think it’s funnier too,” Gerdin said. Gerdin describes the food and experience as “top of the line.”
To make reservations, call Northern Lights Ballroom at 320-369-4622 or visit http://tinyurl.com/NLBOLW. Other showings include Isanti, Pine City and Onamia. The Pease show is sponsored in part by Princeton Insurance Agencies.
A portion of the ticket sales will be given to the Milaca Area Pantry. All the money collected during Ole and Lena’s dollar dance will also be donated to the food shelf.